African Cashew Alliance Holds Organizational Meeting

Fresh Moves To Boost Africa’s Cashew Industry

Accra, Ghana, March 14, GNA

Leaders of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) met for the first time last week to formalise plans aimed at developing Africa’s cashew industry as a means to alleviate poverty and foster economic growth.

A statement issued yesterday by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said participants at the four-day meeting in Guinea-Bissau deliberated on better policies to support the sector, drew up action plans to enhance cashew production, processing, marketing and trade, and elected officers for the Alliance.

Mr Carlos Costa, ACA Chairman, was quoted as saying that participation of stakeholders and major private sector industry representatives from across the Continent provided the Alliance with the expertise necessary to develop the cashew industry in Africa.

“We will continue to push the ACA forward over the coming months by starting up industry development initiatives,” he said.

The statement said the ACA would work closely with private sector producers, processors and exporters, as well as relevant government agencies, donors and Non-Governmental Organisations already providing support to the sector to drive the development and growth of a competitive cashew industry in Africa.

Africa produces roughly one-third of the total world supply of cashews with industrial quantities produced in at least 10 African countries. About three million small farmers are involved in cashew production across the Continent.

The statement said the ACA would merge the interests, expertise and resources of cashew industry stakeholders towards increasing farmer incomes, creating jobs in the domestic industry and raising export earnings.

The meeting was attended by more than 30 participants from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau as well as cashew processors from across Africa. USAID has provided a secretariat based in Ghana to manage ACA operations.

Mr Greg Vaut, West Africa Regional Alliance Builder, USAID, said the organisation was pleased to have been able to create and support the ACA. “We believe this innovative alliance has the potential to develop the cashew industry in Africa and support our effort to help small holder farmers across the Continent,” he said.

Source: GNA Posted on the 15/03/06

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